Sunday, March 15, 2015

How safe is your food picked up from the market? Here is a useful guide

Are you confused by the label that appears on all packed foods available in the market? It is true that consumer has lot of information about the contents inside a pack on the label printed but the most crucial question remains unanswered even if you scan the label with a magnifying glass! That question is whether the contents inside are safe for consumption even after the expiry of the expiration date printed on the pack? There are many pundits who advise you to see whether the pack is bloated, torn, leaky etc which are some of the tell tale signs of product deterioration. But what if there is no apparent or visible changes on such date expired packs? Many countries are advising its citizens to curtail food wastage which, according to some estimates, can be as high as that capable of feeding almost the entire population of poor people inhabiting the continents of Asia, Africa and South America! One of the actions suggested is to test any date expired packs for signs of off color, off odor, unattractive appearance or touch feeling before tasting a speck of it for the ultimate decision whether it should be tossed out of your kitchen. Here is guideline which this blogger found very useful to take a decision on this matter. 

"Keep It or Toss It?  Browse Shelf Life Information By Category Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy & Eggs, Meat & Poultry, Fish & Shellfish, Nuts & Legumes, Grains & Pasta, Condiments & Oils, Herbs & Spices, Snacks & Sweets, Baked Goods, Beverages"   

Though the information provided in this web site is very useful, it cannot be taken as the Gospel truth. Individuals must take an appropriate decision based on their perception and understanding of the data furnished by the publisher. After all the sensitivity of foods, even if they are safe as measured by other yardsticks can vary from person to person and as far as possible one must try to buy the most recently packed foods if feasible. Also to be borne in mind is the scientific truth that most foods with a one month expiration date at room temperature (30C) is likely to keep good for another two months easily in a refrigerator at less than 10C. Till a non-destructive test is discovered to "divine" the safety of foods in a sealed pack, consumers have to depend on their common sense to decide whether a particular food is safe or not! 


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